In Memorium: Pete Fernandez

IAA Founding Member Ada “Pete” Anderson Fernandez passed away on the afternoon of July 10th. Pete had been a resident artist of Irving, Texas since 1951.

Her formal training was at the University of Georgia, Wesleyan Conservatory of Art and Music in Macon, Georgia. However, her studies with artists such as Reveau Bassett, Ramon Froman, Bob Tommey broadened her education.

Pete joined the Irving Art Association shortly after coming to Irving, taking part in its first exhibition showing a portrait that won alternate scholarship state awards, as a senior in high school. For all her roles and activities in Irving Art Association, she was awarded a Life Membership.

Two retrospective solo exhibitions of her paintings were held in 2016: The first at the Irving Arts Center Focus Gallery April 16 – May 15, 2016 (see the article and video interview below). The second at IAA’s own gallery June 26 – July 22, 2016 (see article). The exhibit featured 34 paintings from the 1950s to present time. Her subjects included southwest landscapes with figurative and equine embellishments. Pete worked with many media, including oil, water color, pastel, and pen and ink.

Pete was also active in many other organizations such as Frank Reaugh Art Club, the Association of Creative Artists in Dallas (signature membership), and the Irving Heritage Society, to name a few. For more about her see a brief bio by Mary Higbie about her extensive service to the community:

The services for IAA Founding Member Pete Fernandez were held on July 15, 2020 at Sparkman Hillcrest, 7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas 75225. Burial followed the services. Should you wish to send a sympathy card to the family, address it to: The Fernandez Family, 1400 Broadmoor Lane, Irving, Texas 75061.

Memories of Pete by Susan Murray

Ada “Pete” Anderson Fernandez passed on July 10, 2020

Pete was one of the original “Tuesday Painters” group that grew to become the Irving Art Association.  

I met Pete several years ago and we became friends.  I enjoyed getting together with her and listening to her stories about Irving, the Association and how her group of ladies evolved from meeting at homes to moving into the current Gallery.  One of my favorite stories is of one of their early fun raising events.  The ladies put on a grand dinner/ dance at the Country Club. All got their husbands to come and not only pay for the tickets but make sizable donations.

A few years ago when we found ourselves without a juror for our Members’ Show, Pete stepped up and became our juror.  She was a big hit at the awards reception.  We presented her with a large bouquet of the flowers she loved so much.  She often talked about how much she enjoyed being part of the show.

 I shall miss you Pete. You and your bright smile and wonderful stories will live in my heart.

–Susan